Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

A food I never imagined myself making was biscotti. I know my mom likes it a lot, so I decided to attempt baking her a batch for Christmas. With the help of V-Con, it wasn't nearly the ordeal I expected it to be!

Sadly, I did not have the ingredients for the almond-anise ones, so I made cranberry-almond ones. :P Only two of them broke, so I sampled those broken ones. Wow! A definite hit, and these will be beautiful wrapped and placed inside a pretty Christmas box.

My only tip: make sure you have a very sharp (non-serrated) knife. The heavier, the better. Then they won't crumble or crack in half!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes

Oh yes! I broke out Veganomnicon recently and made the *best* dinner and a fun dessert too! I only have time to post the important part: dessert!

Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes

Not only are these super easy to make, you can customize the flavors too. I chose a seedless raspberry filling, but kept the "cake" part of the recipe as is. (I *so* trust Isa and Terry!)

Easy to make batter with little clean up: What's not to love about this recipe? Simple plain cupcakes with a plop of perserves ready for the oven:

Can't resist peeking on them as they bake:

Oooh! They are puffing up and the kitchen smells like doughnuts:

Out of the oven and cooling down. They look like little lickable belly buttons:

Coated by a sifter of powdered sugar, they were a perfect dessert and will be even better tomorrow after we've let them cool more!

Try them! Britty and I loved them and have loved every recipe in Veganomnicon so far! Just when I didn't think I could love Isa and Terry anymore...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Omegas, Tacos, and a Yeti

One last addition to the Omega-3 info below. My friend, Mary, reminded me of the enriched foods like this one as a great source for Omega-3 fatty acid:

Click on the picture to go to the Silk Website with info on soy milk versus dairy! :) Thanks, Mary!

Tonight's dinner included blue corn tacos from The Garden of Eatin'. :) I love the shells, but was not too crazy about the soy beef:

I wish I liked it because it's so convenient, and in 'pork' flavor too. I would have preferred beans in this, so I'm skipping the LightLife meats next time! What do you use for a taco filler?

So with FYH vegan cheddar, onions, and salsa I hid the flavor of the soy crumbles and enjoyed these tacos with broccoli:

The Abominable Bumble/Yeti enjoyed it too.

Onto some British goodies that Jamie picked out for us. The stash includes cereal bars with the *best* flavors: cranberry/almond, pumpkin/pistachio, and pecan/date. They are really good and taste like they were just made at home. I love how they are filled of toasted oats and spelt flakes. Held together by dates and/or agave nectar...these are a great breakfast or snack.

Also in the stash is our Christmas stuffing mix! Sage, Red Pepper, and Shallots. (I say "SHAAALL-ots;" Jamie says, "sheh-LOTS." It's ok though, it's not like we argue over silly things like pronunciations.) *pokes* :P

Time to zoom in on those chocolate buttons!
I liked the saying: "I love them on mum's chocolate cake." Hmm, I didn't have time to bake a cake with these buttons nearby. I ate them immediately, and popped a few of them in my coffee to make a mocha. :)

The Return of the Yeti:

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sea Lice for Dinner?

I read an article today that supported an amazing documentary I once saw about a woman who set out to study Orcas. Her research led her to discover fish farming and how the spread of sea lice was destroying the wild salmon population on the West Coast. The wild salmon were on a migration route and came into contact with sea lice when passing the fish farms.

I cannot find that original documentary link, but here is a bit of the news article from today:

"Wild salmon on Canada's west coast are being driven to extinction by parasites from nearby fish farms, a study claims.

Wild pink salmon around the Broughton Archipelago are declining rapidly and will die out within 10 years if no action is taken, say researchers.

They say the data, published in Science, raises serious concerns about the global expansion of aquaculture.

Sea lice from farms are known to infect wild salmon, but until now the impact on wild populations has been uncertain.

Scientists say commercial open-net salmon farms are a "haven" for sea lice - naturally occurring parasites that attach to the skin and muscle of salmon.

Mature fish can survive being infested by a few lice but tiny juvenile salmon are particularly vulnerable to attack.

"Salmon farming breaks a natural law," explained study co-author Alexandra Morton, director of the Salmon Coast Field Station, located in the Broughton Archipelago.

"In the natural system, the youngest salmon are not exposed to sea lice because the adult salmon that carry the parasite are offshore. But fish farms cause a deadly collision between the vulnerable young salmon and sea lice. They are not equipped to survive this, and they don't." *BBC News source

The article mentions a possible solution of moving the farms out of the paths of wild salmon. Another "solution" was to keep the farmed salmon in enclosed pens to try to prevent the spread of sea lice. It's so frustrating how the potential solutions in place do not even address the actual problem here. How many more grossly unnatural environments can we create so that we can kill and eat animals, and then be surprised at the problems we've created because of it?

Most people do not look into where their fish comes from. I was disgusted at the sight of fish farms and of commercial fishing as well. It only takes a few images to figure out why I have no desire to eat fish and would never feel like I am "missing out" on it:

Over-fishing, destruction of the environment, and bycatch animals are enough to realize that fish are just as destructive to kill as are cow and chickens. With the fact that fish do feel and that they are not treated humanely in any way, I could never participate in eating fish or crustaceans. (or any animal at all.)

"You need fish for the Omega somethings!" Yeah, just like we need cow's milk for calcium?

The Omega 3 issue is one I hear a lot from proponents of eating fish. It's easy to substitute your source of Omega 3's though. Which one looks like a healthier source to you?

Dead fish:


Sources of Omega 3's for vegans:

"Vegans can get omega-3 fatty acids by eating flax seeds or flax oil every day. A more reliable but more expensive non-animal animal source of EPA and DHA is from algae or phytoplanton. Indeed, this is were fish get their EPA and DHA since they don’t manufacture their own. *Modern Psychiatry source

It's interesting how cow's milk has calcium added, and how salmon do not actually manufacture the Omega 3's. Why would we rely on these animals for what we need, when we can go to a different source?

Update! I forgot to add in the most common source of Omega 3's! Nuts and nut oils! (Thank you, Ash, for pointing this out!) I mostly hear of walnuts as a great source, but also many nut oils:

"Nut oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Walnut oil is highest in omega-3s. Nut oils contain saturated as well as unsaturated fats. Consider using nut oils in homemade salad dressing or in cooking. When cooking with nut oils, remember that they respond differently to heat than do vegetable oils. Nut oil, if overheated, can become bitter. Just like with nuts, use nut oil in moderation to restrict overall calorie and fat intake." *Mayo Clinic source

When I read articles like that of the sea lice, I am happy that I do not partake in the killing of animals. It's nice when you are comfortable with your diet because you know, without a doubt, that it's the best thing for you and for the environment. An added bonus of being vegan: when I make my morning breakfast shake and add my Tablespoon of flax oil, I won't have to peek into the cup and check for sea lice. ;)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Trip to the Animal Shelter

~ looking for a home ~

With the passing of our bunny, Smokey, we knew we had the supplies and room for a new bunny. We searched online for some unwanted adult bunny to give a home to. I knew we wanted one that was maybe harder to place than a cute fluffy little baby bunny, so we searched on www.petfinder.com. (What a great site!) Pet Finder linked us to hundreds of unwanted bunnies in our area. Amongst the bunnies, we saw two that were rescued by the Spencer Animal Control. I called to find out that these two bunnies were not placed yet and had been rescued as far back as April! The manager, Carol, informed me that she was giving up hope of them finding homes. That's when we came in!

No bunny will replace Smokey, but it was still nice to offer these ladies a safe, warm home full of veggies and hay. Here is one of the bunnies we took home:

~ "Carrot" ~
She is HUGE!! She's a sweet girl, and we'll get more photos of her and her sister later in the week. Her new sister is very shy, and I think the camera flash would be too much for her! ;)

While there at the shelter, we took a look around at the many homeless cats. They were well cared for, but it was still very sad to see them wanting so much attention. I wanted to take them all home, but all I can do is get the word out about the Spencer Animal Control and Shelter, and hope that people will adopt instead of buy animals. These kitties were beautiful and have nothing wrong with them, aside from no owners!

Check out some photos of these adorable kitties:

~ kitty with an eye infection ~
~ Mommy kitty and her kittens ~
~ Calico ~
~ A kitty that I wanted so badly! ~
~ Here he is again. His elderly owner is dying of cancer, and she hoped this kitty would find a great home. ~
~ "Pick me! ~
~ I'm partial to the name "Minnie." Check out her eyes. :) ~


This is a long post, but it's important to show this. I'd like to add a few video clips from the shelter. These kitties are really sweet. I wish I had room to adopt more, despite my allergies to them! They are beautiful and social and were abandoned for various reasons, but are deserving of a great home. I hope just seeing them helps get the word out there to consider adoption from a shelter. If you have room and the desire for the best sort of company you can think of, look up www.petfinder.com.

A few videos from today. Thanks for reading my blog and for watching:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Stuffed Acorn Squash

A quick recipe with a few modifications from Student's Go Vegan Cookbook made a quick and great dinner.

I ran out of mushrooms, so I used white canelli beans and green peas too! At first I was going to skip the maple syrup listed in the recipe, but I'm glad I didn't. The syrup baked right into the squash and was really good, and not too sweet as I had expecting. I could have eaten the squash plain, but the stuffing was too good to miss! Britty and I each had half and it was more than enough.

Those look like nuts in the photo, but those are the white canelli beans. I would have loved mushrooms in this, but the beans made up for it, and I may keep them in next time, even if I have mushrooms on hand!

Hope you're all staying warm! It's freeeeeezing out here!! :)